Thursday, April 8, 2010

Notion Ink Adam

So what I want from my tablet PC is quite simple. I want to be able to browse the internet, watch video's & play music. I also don't want to have to keep charging the thing between an episode of star trek (insert geek joke here). For my programming needs I've got a powerful desktop with a BIG monitor & a real keyboard and mouse so I don't care if the tablet falls short when it comes time for me to start writing code.

The iPad is a great device because it
lets you do everything I want my tablet to do but it does have some major limitations that are a deal killer for me.

Video: I need to convert all my avi's, mkv's to format's that are, well, apple supported. How many times have you thought to yourself, let me convert my bluray disk or DVD to mp4 & QuickTime (the default app on a mac) isn't really "Quick" now is it? The other problem playing video on the iPad is the screen, its a really nice big screen but the pixel density isn't great.
Sure you can play 720p videos (H264 encoded) but with 1024x786 pixels, hi-def content just doesn't feel right.

Internet Browsing: if you want to get a feel of what its like to browse the internet on an iPad have a look at this post on groovyPost. It's not going to be accurate but you'll get the idea. Its definitely a nice experience but as you start stumbling on sites not designed for the iPad/mobile devices, you start seeing some problems (remember Firefox will display flash, the iPad won't).

Enter Adam, Notion Ink's Adam is a device with a lot of promise, support for 1080p video, Android & an HDMI port letting you connect it to your LCD TV.
The tegra2 processor on the Adam should let us play almost any content; at this point its still a little trouble playing divx & mkv's on Android, but I really think because of the open nature of the OS it won't be long before this'll be fully supported (Notion Ink might just release Adam with support for these video formats).

16 hours of HD video playback is unheard of in most devices & if the Adam can deliver, that alone would be a reason to buy it.

Then there's the Pixel Qi display, if you don't already know about it, search google for it and you'll be impressed. The display let's you turn off the led's resulting in HUGE power reduction when there's enough ambient light & you're reading something. It might not be as nice as the e-ink but its close. Having said this,
the display of the Notion Ink is still a 1024x600 display & if anything might not be as nice as the iPad's but there will be smaller black bars on the screen while playing HD content.

Then there's the internet browsing. The guys at Notion Ink want to wait for flash to become stable before they release the Adam. That in my humble opinion isn't the right thing to do. Sure full flash support will result in a much richer browsing experience, but even in its current state, its going to be no worse than the iPad or other similar devices. I like browsing on my Android powered device, some things could be improved (text flow on double tap, pinch & zoom) but those are pure software components that can be improved.

In conclusion, The iPad's a great little device but I'll wait and see what the guys at Notion Ink come out with. I just hope they come out with something before its too late.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Google Chrome

Microsoft has been a little worried about Google and for good reason. Google's new web browser, Chrome, is the latest product offering by the company that's adamant that they're not taking over the desktop. For a first release Chrome isn't bad. It does everything a browser should do quite well.

  • Rendering web pages: Its rendering engine seems like someone's slaved over it and has come up with a product that unlike safari is more concerned with showing up "real world" web pages as they were intended rather than just sticking to standards. It's able to show most pages very well and very quick.
  • Speed: The browser is quick. A lot of browser claim they're fast but I've yet to come accross any browser that's as quick. I don't have figures as yet but its the perceived delay that matters to the ultimate user isn't it?
  • Tabs as different processes: Helps, definitely helps in case one of the tabs crashes its not supposed to take the entire browser down. However I've had a case in which all of Chrome crashed!!!
  • Downloads: Didn't see an option to pause and restart downloads. Once I cancel a download there's no option to restart it either.
  • The colours: Blue under XP... that's the only colour that the browser's tiny task area's available in and doesn't take the colours assigned in the OS and doesn't seem to support skins.
  • Full screen mode
  • Easier access to plugins.

Just a note to people who go on about the integrated search in the address bar! IE and Firefox both have it in case you've not realized yet.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

umount (but in windows)

Here's the command. Its similar to umount in linux.

rsm eject /pf"VOLUME_LABEL"

Some places where its useful.
- scripting automatic backup
- when your SA has too much power ;-)

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Since everyone's got an opinion about the takeover of yahoo by Microsoft, I thought I'd add my 2 cents worth in this $44 billion bid as well.
I'm one of the few who think Microsoft deserves every bit they've got because they've earned it by making sure they are besides agents of change also extremely good at the business they're in. Just imagine what the world would be like if there wasn't any Windows or Office. Would it have forced others to work this hard in making all the new operating systems and improving the user experience?
So keeping this in view I'm glad that Yahoo and MS are going to be one, however I'm also a big advocator of free and open source software and Yahoo has done a lot in that space and Microsoft hasn't been as open with its code base for most software they've put out.
The other problem is that Yahoo has done some really good stuff with certain companies they own, flickr being one major one and I just don't like the thought of flickr being owned by Microsoft. Maybe it'll be good and it'll become more open then again it might not and we might have to deal with Microsoft thinking they can make something better by using their products.
If Microsoft uses Yahoo as a pool of great programmers and set of great applications that they're going to support two thumbs up but one is left with the feeling that they won't be un-interfering parents.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The New Apple Wireless Keyboard

Every time I buy an Apple product I'm greeted by this really nice product that's been designed first but the engineers have put in the extra effort making sure that design works.
One gets the feeling that at Apple its not about who caused the problem and who's wrong but rather how a problem can be fixed.
Why am I all praises about apple? I just bought the new wireless keyboard from Apple. As soon as it was out of its sleek packaging I was amazed by how neat it was. Clean lines, laptop style keys.
Its not a full keyboard. Its missing the numeric pad but I think i can live with that. I've bought this to go with the new HTPC that i'm building that'll be sitting below the flat screen TV and I don't want a keyboard that's big and needs wires. I can see most ladies smile at this point, maybe that's what women want "No Wires"...
I've tried the keyboard with my iMac (new 20" core 2 duo) running Mac OS X and Windows XP. I've tried it with my windows XP PC that's hidden somewhere out of sight (i'm writing this review on that) and it works really well with all those.
Update: Just tried it with my Nokia N80 and it works really well with it as well. If i use this i'm sure my SMS are going to become LMS's... The only problem I found was that i couldn't find a 'Menu' button on the keyboard.

There is a bit of delay at times but for the most part it works flawlessly without missing out anything.
The other problem I found was that its got no indication of if its switched on or not and i'm assuming that's because they want to conserve power (the caps lock does have a LED)
I've still not been able to connect it to my phone so i guess that's next and i'll try a little more tomorrow.
Overall a sexy keyboard just like the one that comes standard with the iMac's without the numeric keypad.
Also note that the keyboard won't work if you choose to pair it without a key.

- Worked on all computers i've tried (Windows, Mac OS X)
- Sleek and very sexy
- Works from across my room without a hitch
- Bluetooth so no software required.

- A little slow at times
- Price: cost me Rs.2500 but that was because i bought the iMac from the same guy too otherwise the price is Rs.4500/-
- No numeric keypad.

overall score: 4.5/5

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

java check file existance

here's a simple function that checks to see if a file exists

public boolean exists(String filename) {
File file = new File(filename);
return file.exists();


Friday, July 13, 2007

Sennheiser PX 100

I just bought those today. I know this blog was supposed to be about code but I have decided, i might add other tech stuff up here as well. So here's my review of the Sennheiser PX-100.

First of all, if you enjoy music and have been listening to it on your portable music player using the ear buds or phones that came with it, its time for a change. These headphones are the perfect replacement for the stock ones that come with the players today. Yes! that does include the iPod. At $50 in the US and Rs.3400 in India these phones are priced well for the headphones of their quality.
As you can probably make out in the picture they're open backed which means they're not going to do a lot in terms of blocking out outside sounds which can be a bit of a concern in India but they do make these super efficient. In spite of the small size these produce really good bass and the output isn't bad either. The open approach also means if you've got your music up loud (turn it down) others can hear it too...
Coming to how comfortable they are, well i'd give them a 5/10 on that. if you're using these for long hours (i've had them on all day) you've got to keep removing them unlike the pair of altec's i also own which i can wear all day without even feeling them. The fact that they fold away are really neat though i'm not a 100% convinced that its entirely a safe, they don't give the feel of being bullet proof if you know what i mean. talking about build quality the wires feel like they could snap too (and they're not replacable) but i'll update you on that. Having said that, these do come with a years warranty which might come in handy in case something happens.
Overall besides the build of these things I'd recomment them to anyone without a second thought.
PS: I'll update you in sometime about how these are doing :)
PS2: I've got a set of Grado's on the way, can't wait ;-)

update: i've been using these headphones for the last few days and i'm really impressed. the bass is nice and crisp, the detail in the sound is better then some of the more expensive cans i've heard.
I'm constantly scared i'm going to snap the wire.